Chasing Inspiration

Monday, April 05, 2010


Okay, the title for this post is from the movie The Fifth Element. If you haven't yet seen it, you're missing some kooky fun. Anyway...

In my quest to not only make time to clean and organize my home office, I decided I could no longer move forward with this project on my own. Instead of muddling through by myself and getting stuck in the big picture or mired in the details, I enlisted the help of a trusted friend who is more than capable of organizing space.

It took me a long time to come to this decision. I had to work through the expectations I had of what I should have been able to and by when. I am able to help other people organize themselves, but I have to work very hard to organize myself. So I had this picture in my head that I could, no should, be able to do this on my own. Looking around the office, and at my procrastination with the project, I made the decision to go ahead and ask for assistance. And, no offense to my husband who has offered to work on this project with, but I needed someone who didn't have a vested interest in the project.

Enter Christine. In one evening we cleaned off the desk surface, a couple of shelves and the piles on the floor. I had two bags for Goodwill, several bags of recycling and everything I didn't know how to organize or wasn't sure I was going to keep was neatly organized in labeled bags. The room looked larger and I wanted to be in the space for the first time in months. Since last fall, to be exact.

Later this week we are going to work on this some more. The goal is to not have to buy any new furniture (though I can make lists of what I want in the future to make the room more usable), and to purchase the fewest number of organizational devices/tools possible all while maintaining a feel that is a cross between homey comfort and minimalism. I mean, I like my books and pictures, but I don't need to have piles of them on the floor.

I do this all the time with clients. I walk them through what is keeping them stuck so they can move forward. I was unable to do this for myself and when I was ready to ask for help, help was there for the taking. Sometimes, it's all about realizing we can lean on people in our lives for a little while.

When you find yourself overwhelmed by a project, who do you turn to for motivation? What do you do to unfreeze yourself?


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Soundtrack Friday

I was cleaning out the office this week and came across several files of stories I had started writing in the 90s. Some of these were fun little short stories for friends. Others were chapters of books I had started and gotten lost in the plot development so put aside. I had a fun time reading through the bits and pieces of drabble when I stumbled on an outline for a story that sounds eerily close to Mallory's story. I didn't remember writing it, but it looks like Mallory has been with me for quite a while.

In the outline were snippets of themes and one theme had "Will You Be There" written beside it. I figured it must have been a reference to Heart's 1993 hit Will You Be There (In the Morning) from their album Desire Walks On. I love that album. It has some of my favorite angry music on it. I hopped over to my iTunes and played the song and sure enough, this song expresses in tone and chorus what Mallory fears. That everyone she loves will leave. It's a universal theme, something almost everyone I know has felt, if fleetingly, at one time or another. And the song got me into Mallory's head quickly so I added it to my Mallory soundtrack.

Today's Soundtrack Friday is Heart and Will You Be There (In the Morning).


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Books Read in March

High Noon by Nora Roberts - this was a reread for me. I saw the Lifetime movie in February that was based on the book and wondered exactly how much they had changed in the story so I pulled out my copy of High Noon and wow, they took out a lot! While the movie was okay, the book was better. Still not my top 5 Nora novels, but a nice way to spend a weekend.

Nightlife by Rob Thurman -- A new to me series that was recommended on Marjorie M. Liu's blog a month or so ago. I enjoyed this first novel. The premise was different and the voice of the novel was compelling. I don't know if it's a must read series yet, but I'm looking forward to reading the second book.

Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle --Book two of of her Coffeehouse Mystery series had me falling in love. Then the book hit me with a twist I wasn't anticipating. I do enjoy this series, not only because it takes place around a coffeehouse and the books include recipes, but also because I never seem to be able to figure out who did it early on. This is a mark of a good mystery.

Must Love Hell Hounds anthology -- I got this book from the library so I could read the novella but Nalini Singh but kept reading for stories by Meljean Brook, Charlene Harris and Ilona Andrews. Entertaining stories that are like crack for the voracious reader such as myself. I tell you, anthologies are the gateway drug to adding more authors to your must read list.

Inked anthology -- another anthology. I read this initially for the story by Marjorie M. Liu because it was an installment in her Hunter Kiss series. I keep reading and have added Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance and Yasmine Galenorn to my list of authors to try. Anthologies, they are gateway drugs, I tell you!

Criminal Deceptions by Marilyn Pappano --Book 6 of MP's Copper Lake series is category romantic suspense done right. Despite a shorter word count than Silhouette's Intimate Moments line used to have before it became Romantic Suspense, this book has solid plotting, pacing and character development. I usually read category romances and feel like something was missing but with Marilyn Pappano, I feel completely satisfied.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy -- I read this for bookclub and while I was initially skeptical, I really ended up enjoying it.